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  • For YMMV items related to the original 1985 game, go here.
  • For YMMV items related to the cartoons by DiC Entertainment, go here.
  • For YMMV items related to the 1993 live-action film, go here.
  • For YMMV items related to the 2023 animated film, go here.

Franchise-Wide Subpages:

YMMV items that apply to the franchise as a whole:

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    A-G 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
  • Adorkable:
    • Being shy, clumsy and friendly is a large part of Luigi's charm.
    • In spite of his villainy, Bowser Jr.'s a chubby little cutie and he's aware of this, often wearing a bib-like bandana with fangs drawn on to make himself look more fierce to minion and enemy alike.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: It's a series that doesn't usually develop a detailed story or detailed characters, so it's probably because of this that there is a lot of room for interpretation:
    • Mario himself:
      • There are several fans that tend to think that Mario's main motivation for going out on his many journeys is mostly not for Peach, but for the cake he was told that he'd be given. (Overlaps with Common Knowledge, as that only happens in Super Mario 64.)
      • Mario is a ruthless One-Man Army killing anything in his path, not caring if his foes want to hurt him or not, captures countless lands, and basically waged a war against a rivaling kingdom with many casualties on their side, just to rescue a princess and/or get cake.
      • Some argue that Mario is genuinely good, but a Heroic Comedic Sociopath. Note that he's always so cheerful and always letting out "whoops" of joy despite what's at stake. It's not that he doesn't want to save Peach, but he has too much fun basically slaughtering the equivalent to entire armies. Sometimes this extends to him allowing or even encouraging Bowser to kidnap the princess so he has an opportunity to go on yet another adventure. This is sometimes taken in a more sympathetic light, given that if Mario is motivated by the excitement and thrill of the chase, then all the time he spends go-karting, planning parties, and playing sports is wasted when he could be having a real adventure. Also, since Mario often displays Medium Awareness ("Thank you so much for playing my game!"), the aforementioned could be for the player's benefit rather than a selfish indulgeance.
      • A lot of fan parodies tend to treat Mario like a complete numbskull (sometimes combined with the aforementioned Heroic Comedic Sociopath take), with some going so far as to theorize this is due to one too many mushrooms consumed.
    • The paradigm of Peach, Bowser, and the kidnappings is itself a food for thought (with ideas ranging from Bowser's feelings being mutual, Peach having a submissive fantasy and enjoying being kidnapped, or even that it's all a money-making gambit since Mario profits from the journey).
      • Cracked had a lot of fun with the interpretation that Bowser is actually in love with Peach but bad at expressing it; Peach has conflicting feelings and notably never denies being the mother of Bowser Jr. when Bowser Jr. claims she is. Bowser is also a Well-Intentioned Extremist, who captures the Yoshis because they're an ecological menace (they eat anything), until he finds time to find a permanent solution to the crisis, as he captures them rather than killing them. He may also be the only person capable of ruling the land, as he has time to build, maintain and run seven castles simultaneously, manages to conquer and subdivide the lands into more effective zones, and find time to kidnap Peach. He essentially keeps trying to perform a Benevolent Alien Invasion but it keeps getting screwed up by Mario...by the way, where was he while Bowser was doing this anyway?
      • This old GamesRadar article from 2008 takes it further by painting Peach as "a self-serving harlot with the morals of an alley cat on heat and no higher priority in life than the massaging of her own needy ego." Peach-haters will have a blast reading this.
      • Game Theory got in this by posting this popular (and rather disturbing) video about Peach's... issues.
      • A How It Should Have Ended video portrays Bowser as attempting to make peace treaties with Princess Peach due to Mario always killing his people.
      • Much like the Heroic Comedic Sociopath take on Mario, some fans think that Bowser purposely lets Mario win because he's not really evil. He just kidnaps Peach for fun and just wants to have a friendly-fierce rivalry with Mario before letting him take the advantage because he enjoys it, and maybe he just doesn't know a more proper way to ask Mario and co. to have fun with him. And then there's the fact that he allows Mario to throw him in lava because he doesn't really want any harm done to Mario or his friends, he just wants to lure them into his castle so he can play with them in a friendly rivalry. Bowser likes kidnapping princesses and make Mario (and Luigi) go after him because it's all a game to him.
      • One of the most complex interpretations is one centered around romance. Essentially, some feel that Peach and Bowser are actually a couple, but have to keep it on the down low for the sake of their kingdoms, and the kidnappings are staged so they can get some private time together. As for Mario's rescues, he, as well as Luigi, possibly, is in the loop about it, and goes on these adventures as a way to keep up The Masquerade, essentially playing as both party's wingman to make both of them happy, and to keep the ruse up without the Mushroom Kingdom destabilizing due to panic. Presumably, Bowser's forces are in on it as well, and they, and Mario, work together to delay Mario's rescue for as long as possible, justifying the enemy placements and boss battles.
      • Is Bowser an idiotic overly macho king, or Obfuscating Stupidity on a political mastermind? I.e., his kingdom is all lava and igneous rocks. Peach's isn't. And the best way to gain political power in a monarchy is to marry into it. Cracked speculated that he was actually the most successful video game villain of all time given how many times Mario has died over the years, his family situation, being invited to play sports and parties like nothing ever happened, and the sheer amount of power and resources he possesses.
    • Regarding the Toads:
      • Is there a specific character named Toad, or is it a different Toad in the role every time? Although Nintendo usually describes Toad as a specific character within the species, actually identifying which one is the Toad is an exercise in futility.note  Because of this, a popular fanon is that it's a different character depending on the game.
      • Toadette is a playable character in New Super Mario Bros U. Deluxe where she can get a power-up known as the Super Crown, which lets her transform into a Princess Peach-like form known as "Peachette". The mere existence of this character has baffled the Mario fandom.
      • Toadsworth not appearing in a game since Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has lead fans to the conclusion that he passed away from old age.
    • Daisy seems to come in second to Peach all the time, but that might be because she's a far more competent ruler than Peach is. Sarasaland has only faced a serious invasion once (compared to the Mushroom Kingdom, where it happens with disturbing frequency) and in games where she's playable, Daisy is often the toughest of the girls. Mario Party 3 lends weight to this theory, as its Story Mode shows Daisy sending Bowser flying with one slap, and her justification being simply "What? He was in my way!"
    • Professor E. Gadd gets this thanks to Bowser Jr. using his Paintbrush in Super Mario Sunshine. Absent-Minded Professor who gets his stuff stolen fairly often, Chessmaster arms dealer using Obfuscating Stupidity to Play Both Sides, or an evil old folk who enjoys chaos for the sake of it?
    • Waluigi. He was initially added to the cast because Wario needed a doubles partner for Mario Tennis, but he creates plenty of discussion, both serious and not so serious. His mere presence has some weird implications regarding Mario, Luigi and Wario: Mario is the original, Luigi is a reflection of Mario (somewhat similar, but different in certain ways), Wario is also a reflection (Wario is Mario's Evil Counterpart). Waluigi is a reflection of a reflection.
    • Rosalina is officially depicted as a mysterious woman with some kind of power over the very cosmos. Much like other characters, her exact role isn't given too much detail (apart from an unlockable backstory in Super Mario Galaxy that first introduced her, and even that seems to be disregarded sometimes). That hasn't stopped fans from frequently interpreting her to be some sort of goddess (or if you go by the Judeo-Christian line of thought, The Virgin Mary).
    • Whether Bowser Jr. is a mechanical genius that builds his own machines or simply a spoiled rich kid who gets his father to buy them for him. Nothing in the main series suggests one possibility is any more likely than the other, and the spin-offs give conflicting opinions: in Fortune Street, it's implied that Junior at the very least designs some of his own mechs, while in Super Smash Bros. it's implied that the Junior Clown Car, at least, was indeed a gift from his father. In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the Mecha Jr. boss is described as "Jr's. Fave B-Day Gift!" through Boss Subtitles, but it's possible Jr. makes most himself and got the Mecha as a special present. It's also unclear whether he does any repairs on his machines himself — New Super Mario Bros. Wii seems to hint that he is indeed capable of doing his own patch-work repairs, while Mario & Luigi: Dream Team hints that he has a group of Monty Moles responsible for repairing the Junior Clown Car, only for Bowser Jr.'s Journey to imply that he's also capable of modifying his machines himself note .
  • Animation Age Ghetto:
    • The series suffers from this due to its cartoony, family-friendly nature — especially when compared to other video game series that are popular, but have higher content ratings suited to more adult audiences, as well as its own "edgier" and more "realistic" sibling The Legend of Zelda. The creators in fact actively defy this trope, as the games are for all ages much like Pixar movies. According to the late Satoru Iwata, the perception of Mario as a "childish" franchise was a problem that Nintendo wasn't too pleased about, and they actively worked on having the franchise appeal to all age groups. Similarly, Miyamoto has repeatedly stressed how the series' creators tend to fall victim to this trope and design the all-ages Mario games as if they were specifically for children just because they're played by kids. For example, Koji Kondo famously rejected composed music for Super Mario Galaxy that was unintentionally designed to appeal to children and was written based on the presumption of Mario being a Kid-Appeal Character. Kondo refuted that "Mario is cool", that he never thought of him as cute, and that Mario's games are "cool adventure games" at their heart.
    • If a Mario game gets mixed or lukewarm reception, fans tend to accuse it of pandering to young children at the expense of older fans. Whether or not these claims are true, such criticisms usually arise from overly easy gameplay, a strong Sweetness Aversion, or general shallowness. This sentiment was very prominent during the 3DS/Wii U era, with frequent accusations of the series being "dumbed down" to appeal to the most casual fans (a group that child Mario fans are frequently lumped into). The New Super Mario Bros. subseries tries to balance the needs of different players, with the Super Guide feature for children and less experienced players, and more challenging secret levels for veterans.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: In post-Soviet states, minus the Baltics and Russia, Mario games are much less popular than franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot, Mega Man, and numerous Sony games. This is because, before 2010, Nintendo didn't have an official presence there, and the NES was represented as Famiclones with a gray elephant as its mascot. Mario games were placed in infamous multi-game cartridges, and children preferred action games from Capcom, Konami, Tecmo, and other third-party companies. The SNES and Game Boy failed tremendously, despite loud marketing campaigns. In following years, PCs dominated the gaming industry; thus post-Soviet children of the 90s and 2000s preferred Darker and Edgier games and Disney-based games, due to their availability on PCs.
  • Archive Panic: This is a series that has been going strong since the early to mid-1980s, has spawned numerous main series games, and so many spinoffs and cameo appearances that it reaches triple digit territory. And that's not even counting the substantial amount of tie-in material, such as many comic book appearances, several OVA, a long-running manga, a live action movie, one Ruby-Spears cartoon adaptation, and three DiC cartoon series. To say the least, trying to even collect all of the series, much less sit through all of it, is an exercise in futility.
  • Awesome Ego: Bowser is boastful and arrogant despite his repeated defeats from Mario. His fans however, agree he lives up to that, and when he doesn't fight Mario, he usually does.
  • Bizarro Episode: The US Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as "Super Mario USA" in Japan) has little to do with the rest of the main platformer series, and is revealed to be a dream in the end.note  Although the game has influenced the franchise in its own way (introducing staple characters like Shy Guys and Birdo, and featuring the dichotomy of "Mario's balanced, Luigi jumps high, Peach can float, Toad is fast"), that it's a Dolled Up Doki Doki Panic and incorporates many of its non-Mario influences makes it quite the oddball in the franchise.
  • Breather Boss: Has had a few in some games, such as The Big Bully in Super Mario 64 and Topmaniac and the Undergrunt Gunner in Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Broken Base: Plenty to go around here:
    • Which Mario games are better: the 2D platformers or the 3D platformers? Is Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World the best 2D Mario? Do the New Super Mario Bros. games honor the original games' legacy or are they awful cash-in games that are barely any different from each other? There are also other issues such as if you prefer the American or Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 and both camps have their reasons why.
    • Which is the better voice for Mario and Luigi, Charles Martinet's work as the bros ever since Super Mario 64, or Captain Lou Albano and Danny Wells from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!? Or should Nintendo hire a new voice actor?
    • NOA's old storyline about the Mario series such as how Mario & Luigi are plumbers from Brooklyn who went to the Mushroom Kingdom via a Magic Pipe and that the Koopalings are Bowser's children. Plenty of these aspects were either toned down or retconned in which certain older fans have complained about this while younger fans either accepted it as Canon and/or mention that a lot of the things we heard about were just mistranslations and/or never brought up within the games themselves. But then again the series' storyline has been a somewhat divisive issue with fans in general.
    • The topic how Rosalina should sound is a hot-topic amongst fans. She originally had an echo to her voice but starting with the Wii U/3DS games that was removed. Many enjoy the echo because it differentiates her from other characters and makes her seem less mortal, however others either don't care or dislike it, There's also differing opinions about what pitch her voice should be, anything from low and deadpan to high like Peach's.
    • Whether the games should have full voice acting (as in Super Mario Sunshine) or not depends on the fan and is often debated.
    • Was Super Paper Mario and/or Paper Mario: Sticker Star good changes to the series or should the series go back to being RPG games? This point has made Paper Mario: Color Splash a very contested game just by its first trailer alone.
    • Fans debate about whether the Mario franchise has "lost its magic" after a certain point, with the games becoming more derivative and with less heart and personality put into them. A frequent claim is that this happened after Super Mario Galaxy: its direct sequel is agreed to be more formulaic with more of an Excuse Plot, the "samey" New Super Mario Bros. sequels began to set in, and the other 3D platformers and spinoffs became more derivative as well (most notoriously Paper Mario: Sticker Star). However, the franchise is still going strong, and some fans argue that it's still capable of putting out original, memorable titles such as Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Maker. With the release and widespread praise of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and especially Super Mario Odyssey, these arguments were put to rest and most fans attest that Mario can always be great when it needs to be. And for any few fans who still believed it wasn't quite the same anymore, those fears were put to rest with the announcements of a 2D Mario with originality, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and remakes of Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • The premiere of Captain Toad has prompted a lot of argument about how he relates to the original Toad and the leader of the Toad Brigade (the original form of Captain Toad from Super Mario Galaxy, who was at the time identified by the Prima guides and a Nintendo-licensed trading card game as the Toad). This has further prompted argument about whether there IS a primary Toad, or if every instance of a playable or unique Toad is in fact just a randomly selected member of the race who happens to be one of Peach's Mushroom Retainers (of which there are as many as 46, according to the scrupulous count in The Lost Levels).
    • The idea of the characters as actors, based on comments made by Miyamoto likening the cast to old cartoon characters, or a troupe of actors, able to fit multiple roles. Some people love the idea and treat it as if it's the truth, while others dislike the idea and claim that it devalues Mario's adventures. When the theory was confirmed to be true for Super Mario Bros. 3 (but only for that game so far, by way of the game being a stage play), fans cried out "I Knew It!" and "childhood ruined" in roughly equal numbers.
    • People are either excited about, disappointed in or bewildered by Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
    • Mario and Luigi's canon age of 24-26. Some people appreciate this and see the Bros. as an Audience Surrogate for college-aged fans, while others dislike it due to its seeming implausibility and the fact that Mario and Luigi are based on a stereotype (Italian-American plumbers) that skews middle-aged. Some people point to Reality Is Unrealistic, as there are many men in their twenties in Real Life who have similar builds and facial hair to the Bros.
    • Charles Martinet's voice performance as Mario is just as divisive as it is iconic. Many fans adore his lively and energetic performance and view him as the voice for Mario, while others (particularly older fans) found his performance to be too grating and obnoxious when compared to performances by previous voice actors (particularly the warm Brooklyn accented-performance given by the late Captain Lou Albano). This is mostly limited to his performance as Mario, as his performance as Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi are nowhere near as divisive.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Despite the competition some of them face from some older fans of the cartoons, all of the voices get this, but Mario's voice by Charles Martinet especially qualifies, considering most parodies of the series base their Mario voices on his own.
  • Character Perception Evolution:
    • The Koopalings were seen for a long time as a forgotten highlight of the franchise's early days, with their presence adding more to the games' lore and their boss fights in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World being considered fun and memorable. Their one-off return in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga was widely praised, as was their role as the main villains in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. However, as the Koopalings continued to appear as recurring characters, their perception became increasingly tepid, being associated more with Nintendo's divisive attempts at concretely branding the Mario franchise in the 2010s and 2020s. Nowadays, the Koopalings are Base-Breaking Characters among fans, with their absence from Super Mario Odyssey being regarded as helping the game stand out for the better.
    • Partially overlapping with Rescued from the Scrappy Heap is the fandom's shift of opinion towards Bowser Jr. When he first appeared in Super Mario Sunshine he was disliked for being a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the Koopalings with a design identical to Baby Bowser. As time went on, he gained fans after later games fleshed out his character and made him more distinct from the Koopalings. With the Koopalings' return and their subsequent increase in divisiveness, Bowser Jr's initial appearances were re-evaluted in a more positive light, given how he filled the Overlord Jr. role to Bowser (which was a major part of the Koopalings' initial rise to fame) in the games without completely dominating the boss roster on account of being an individual as opposed to a group of seven. And the few times he was frequently used have an Early-Installment Weirdness novelty to them. While Bowser Jr. is by no means universally beloved, it's still a far cry from the initial disdain towards him.
    • Birdo didn't have much of a reputation to speak of, being a character from Doki Doki Panic who got carried over to Super Mario Bros. 2 and scarcely appeared outside of the occasional spinoff spot or cameo. However, as the internet made it easier for fans to congregate and access information about the Mario games, people rediscovered a portion of the Super Mario Bros. 2 manual that stated that "he thinks he is a girl [and would] prefer to be called Birdetta." As the LGBT fanbases surrounding Nintendo grew in prominence, Birdo became increasingly adopted as a trans icon, with many reclaiming and repurposing her manual description by spinning it in a more positive direction (if only because LGBT representation in Nintendo games is notoriously low).
    • Waluigi was originally seen as The Scrappy of the spinoff games for a long time, having been introduced in the first Mario Tennis game solely to give Wario a doubles partner. His lack of any prior established presence in the franchise and his gimmick of simply being a Wario-themed equivalent of Luigi led fans to see him as unnecessary and present at the expense of other preexisting Wario characters. However, the fan webcomic Brawl in the Family did much to change Waluigi's public image, depicting him as a manic cloudcuckoolander aware of his own lack of relevance compared to other Nintendo figures. The comic's portrayal of Waluigi singlehandedly granted him a large cult following, leading to many fans clamoring for him to get A Day in the Limelight through a proper game and/or a playable appearance in Super Smash Bros.. The popularity of his tracks in Mario Kart (namely Waluigi Stadium and Waluigi Pinball) also helped, and their inclusion in the Booster Course Pass of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was very celebrated by fans.
    • Initially debuting in Super Mario Land and appearing in various spinoffs as a counterpart for Princess Peach, Princess Daisy's reputation was unremarkable for a long time. However, her image would crater in the mid and late 2000s thanks to a mix of her appearance in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (where her voice acting was considered grating and annoying, especially her infamous "Hi, I'm Daisy!", which continues to haunt her to this day despite her not having said the line ever since) and her overshadowing by other fan-favorites, most noticeably Rosalina. However, in the late 2010s, she would gain an increasingly strong cult following thanks to her characterization as more assertive and tomboyish than Peach (who herself was caught up in larger discourse over female representation in gaming), her Memetic Loser image endearing her to fans as an underdog, and her playable spots in Super Mario Run and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nowadays, while Daisy's reputation still isn't stellar, the biggest point against her is usually that she could be used more effectively, with her inclusion as a playable character in Super Mario Bros. Wonder being recieved positively.
  • Complete Monster: Super Mario Bros., while usually a lighthearted franchise, manages to have several shockingly dark villains:
    • Luigi's Mansion: King Boo, after his defeat by Luigi in the first game, throws away any redeeming qualities upon his return in Dark Moon. Shattering the Dark Moon, he brainwashes every ghost in Evershade Valley and uses them on a campaign to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom and "paint the town red." King Boo abducts Mario himself and several Toads and imprisons them within paintings, and performs experiments on his own ghosts whereas he had previously been a Papa Wolf to his minions. In his culmination of depravity, King Boo tears open a portal to the ghosts' homeworld and threatens to tear apart the fabric of the universe out of spite. In 3, he is set free by Hellen Gravely, and together they gather Luigi and his friends in the Last Resort hotel in another attempt to trap them in paintings. King Boo eventually writes off Hellen and her staff as failures and attempts to absorb the entire hotel, ghosts and all, just to capture Luigi.
    • Paper Mario series:
      • The Thousand-Year Door: The Shadow Queen is an ancient demon who once decimated the town that would become Rogueport, reducing it to waste while spreading her evil worldwide. Unleashing her trio of dragon pets onto the world to end countless lives while using her Pit of 100 Trials to torture and kill anyone who defied her, the Shadow Queen was sealed away by four heroes, but only after cursing each of them to be trapped and corrupted for centuries inside the black chests. Upon being revived by Sir Grodus, the Shadow Queen immediately repays Grodus by nearly killing him, before possessing Princess Peach and using her body in a new attempt to bring destruction onto the world and either turn Mario and his friends to her side, or kill them all.
      • Super: Dimentio masquerades as a humorous henchman under Count Bleck's employ, while secretly harboring more sinister designs. Dimentio manipulates every faction towards his ultimate goal to use the Chaos Heart to obliterate reality so that he could create a new one under his control. To this end, Dimentio brainwashes Fracktail and sends him out to be killed by Mario; experiments on his own subordinates with the brain-jacking Floro Sprouts; seemingly murders Mario and his friends by sending them to the Underwhere; and secretly implants a Floro Sprout within Luigi's mind to revert him back to Mr. L. After Count Bleck is defeated, Dimentio attempts to kill him, seemingly murdering Nastasia in the process. Dimentio seizes Luigi as his host in the final battle and, after his defeat, uses the Chaos Heart to try to destroy reality as an act of spite.
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: The younger Princess Shroob is the acting ruler of the Shroobs, and debuts leading an invasion force to lay waste to the Mushroom Kingdom and depose Princess Peach. Under her heel, the Mushroom Kingdom is reduced to a charnel wasteland, while Toad towns and villages are depopulated so the Shroobs can suck out their life force to fuel their spacecraft, an agonizing and wasting process for the captured Toads. She also unleashes the Yoshi-eating Yoob on the Mushroom Kingdom, transforming whatever it eats into more Yoobs. Princess Shroob also makes a vile public spectacle of Princess Peach's attempted execution, trying to feed her to Petey Piranha in front of a bloodthirsty audience of thousands. Princess Shroob is the crowning example of cruelty even among her Always Chaotic Evil species, and is one of the most sadistic villains ever to appear in a Mario game.
    • Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope: Cursa, the physical reincarnation of the Megabug, born from a fragment of the latter absorbing stellar matter and becoming sapient, planned to destroy the universe by covering it in darkness. Cursa went on to attack the Comet Observatory, causing the Rabbids and Lumas to fuse into Sparks and Cursa to possess Rosalina. After taking over Rosalina's body, Cursa absorbs the life out of and kills hundreds of Sparks across the universe, ultimately planning to absorb all of the remaining Sparks across the universe and kill them as well so that it can crush Rosalina's hope—purely out of spite—and also so that it can retain control over her. Cursa goes on to pollute multiple worlds with Darkmess, causing destruction and mayhem. Cursa then attacks the Mushroom Kingdom and mind controls all of Bowser's minions. Cursa later absorbs the life out of three Sparks given to it by one of its three remaining Spark Hunter minions and swiftly kills said Sparks in the process, and cruelly punishes and abuses the other two Spark Hunters for not having any Sparks for it to absorb.
  • Crack Ship: Although it's really just a joke ship, after Shigeru Miyamoto (jokingly) claimed to be Bowser Jr's mother in this short interview video, a lot of Miyamoto/Bowser fanart suddenly cropped up.
  • Creepy Cute: Most of the series' Adorable Evil Minions are this. Case in point, Boos—roundish ghosts with beady eyes and sharp fangs...that also let out adorably high-pitched cackles whenever they spot you, and stick out their tongues like Bratty Half Pints.
  • Death of the Author:
    • In general, due to the open-ended nature of the franchise and fanon heavy nature of the fandom, any Word of God statement is likely gonna be met with this from a good portion of the fandom, especially if it goes against the general fanon consensus.
    • To much of the fandom, the Word of God confirming that the Koopalings are not related to Bowser was received poorly. So much so that Nintendo would later backtrack on it slightly in favor of having their relationship to Bowser be ambiguous.
    • The Word of God announcing that Toads are not mushroom-people like the Goombas but merely midgets wearing mushroom caps also raised some hackles. There was also an announcement that Toad and Toadette are not considered to be related, but this merely fueled an already Broken Base between the faction of the fandom that interpreted them as brother and sister and those who thought they were in a relationship. Later, it would be confirmed that the mushroom caps actually were part of a Toad's head and not merely a hat. Much like the Toad/Toadette debate, this fueled arguments over whether this should be accepted as canon or not.
    • Mario fans like debating what is a "true 3D Mario game" and what isn't. In 2017, Nintendo ended the discussion by releasing a chart a few months prior to Odyssey being released. Nintendo sees 64, Sunshine, and Odyssey as "hardcore" open-world 3D platformers while Galaxy, Galaxy 2, 3D Land, and 3D World are more linear, casual aimed endeavors. Despite many fans thinking that 3D World didn't count amongst the leagues of 64 and Sunshine, few thought that the two Galaxy games didn't count. This upset fans and many just ignored Nintendo's claims; many of them considered it a False Dichotomy, as while the Galaxy games are more linear and tightly focused, their sense of innovation and ambition is more similar to 64 and Sunshine.
    • Mario and Luigi canonically being in their mid-twenties is largely ignored by fans, as many prefer to interpret the two as being in their early to mid-thirties instead.
  • Delusion Conclusion: The games are often theorised (probably jokingly) to be Mario's hallucinations, with common arguments being common misconceptions that he smashes bricks with his head when jumping and eats mushrooms to grow in size.
  • Demonic Spiders: The series has two main ones: Hammer Bros., and Lakitu. Hammer Bros. lob a barrage of hammers at you, which is jarring since you mostly jump over most hazards. Lakitu mostly float out of your reach and they throw the already hard-to-kill Spinies at you.
  • Designated Monkey: Luigi getting mistreated (such as by the Star Gate in Partners In Time or even Peach of all people in Super Princess Peach) tends to inspire the fanbase to sympathize with him.
  • Die for Our Ship: While more civil shipping-wise than other fandoms, even this fandom is occasionally subject to it:
    • Mario himself has been bashed and demonized in fanfiction for the sake of pairing Peach with Bowser or Luigi. Peach/Bowser fans in particular like to write off him as a Jerkass who doesn't like Peach, only the thrill of the chase that comes with saving her from Bowser. The opposite happens with Mario/Peach fans, and while more justified in that case, it still ignores his Jerk with a Heart of Gold side.
    • Tomboyish Princess Daisy is bashed by people who want to pair Luigi with Peach or Rosalina and those hung up on Luigi being gay.
    • In the anime film The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!, Prince Haru from the Flower Kingdom comes under fire from this due to him being Peach's fiancé. In other words, messing up the MarioxPeach ending. Thankfully for them, Haru is a Canon Foreigner who will never show up in the games.
    • Rosalina is a huge Base-Breaking Character already, never mind shipping. Many Mario/Peach fans and Luigi/Daisy fans are very wary of her because she has no love interest, the assumed Ship Tease between her and the Bros., and the fact that that Mario/Rosalina and Luigi/Rosalina are fairly popular.
    • Pauline quite possibly gets the worst of this of all. She gets bashed horribly by Peach/Mario fans. She's his ex-girlfriend and they're just friends now but shippers act like she's constantly trying to seduce Mario. There's also a great deal of Slut-Shaming due to Pauline's attire and makeup in comparison to Peach's Princess Classic style.
    • It's not unknown for fans of Captain Syrup and Wario together to be hostile towards Mona of WarioWare for having a Precocious Crush on the man.
    • In general, any ship that is not Mario/Peach or Luigi/Daisy is not well received by the shippers.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
  • Escapist Character: Mario was designed with this in mind.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Nintendo research observed that Luigi was especially popular with women.
  • Even Better Sequel: Often what fans think of Super Mario Bros. 3 compared to the original, as well as the common opinion on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Maker 2 when compared to their respective predecessors.
  • Evil is Cool:
    • Bowser is one of the most beloved and classic video game villains of all time. He's also one of the few Mario characters who has a fleshed-out personality, and is praised by many fans for looking and acting like an outright badass in a world filled with characters that are generally cheery, silly and cartoonish. Even though he suffers Villain Decay intermittently, he is able to make up for it by reversing it in games like Super Mario Galaxy.
    • King Boo, specifically his Luigi's Mansion incarnation, is beloved for being the official Arch-Enemy to Luigi, having a snarky yet manipulative personality, and for being a surprisingly dark and serious antagonist in a rather lighearted franchise. His popularity most likely led to this design being included in Mario Kart Tour along with his mainline design.
    • Many of the RPG game villains. Fawful was so cool he ended up an Ensemble Dark Horse because of it, Dimentio went the same way, Cackletta, Midbus, the Shadow Queen, X-Nauts, and Antasma all have a pretty dedicated fandom due to their evil acts and general coolness.
    • Wario was so cool he became a Breakout Character and got his own franchise. Waluigi, his partner (brother?) in crime, is also loved for being an endearingly weird and sneaky Dastardly Whiplash, and many people want him to appear in a main Mario or Wario game - plus the many memes in his name that culminated in his Memetic Loser exclusion from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • Fans have been clamouring for Wart to return since 1988.
    • The Koopalings are generally considered a cool Quirky Miniboss Squad due to their entertaining personalities, fun boss fights, and catchy music.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Asking for Super Mario Bros. 4 to be made will lead irked fans to pointing out that it already exists — only that it was shortened as Super Mario World, its subtitle, in most other regions.
    • Don't call the Damsel in Distress in the Donkey Kong arcade game "Peach". The damsel in that game is not Princess Peach but Pauline, who is not a princess and appears alongside Peach in Super Mario Odyssey.
    • While many fans will seriously debate that Peach and Rosalina are related, stating Peach is Rosalina's mother is not something that most serious fans enjoy people throwing around. Even worse is thinking Luigi is Rosalina's father.
    • Luigi and Mario are twins. However, many don't realize this due to either not playing the Yoshi's Island game or because they falsely believe that all twins are identical. Assuming they have a large age difference amongst fans will get you laughed at.
    • Saying that Mario is a sociopath (A sentiment popularized by Game Theory), or even implying such, is guaranteed to not end well for you. You might get away with it if you are just joking, but it is generally not advised.
    • Just mentioning the Koopalings are not Bowser's children can invoke outrageous reactions. You'll either get people who hate the concept, or you'll meet people who cry Death of the Author and still insist they're related.
    • Don't you ever say that Luigi is a "recolored version" of Mario. Luigi has already been different to Mario, with his unique physical appearance, personality, and attributes.
    • Similar to Luigi, the idea of Daisy being a "recolored version" of Peach is incorrect. Bring that up or, God forbid, call her "Yellow Peach", and you'll receive a "side-by-side" comparison image pointing out their physical differences, and also a history lesson regarding Daisy's origins.
    • Fans of Rosalina don't mind if you compare her to Elsa, but don't call her an Elsa rip-off. Rosalina predates Elsa by a good six years. Doing it the other way around isn't advised either...
    • Fans also take great pains to remind you that just because Rosalina wears a dress and a crown like Peach and Daisy, it does not mean that she is a princess (she was in early promotional material, but the canon has officially dropped it). Super Mario Galaxy and many other subsequent games imply that she is more of a Physical Goddess than anything.
    • Say that Peach is a useless Damsel in Distress around her fans, and get ready to be reminded of all the instances in which she Took a Level in BadassList. This came back with force with the release of trailers for the 2023 animated movie that depicted Peach taking a much stronger role in commanding her kingdom against Bowser's forces and setting out with Mario on his adventure; people that complained about this portrayal being too out-of-character were met with a flood of examples from the games that showed her more badass roles.
    • Most Daisy fans don't mind if you quote her most prominent line in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, "Hi, I'm Daisy!", but don't claim around them that Daisy says it in all of the games she appears in as if it was her catchphrase or else they'll give you a lecture on how Double Dash is the only game where Daisy says the line in.
    • Baby Bowser and Bowser Jr. are not the same character. The former is Bowser as a child and the latter is Bowser's son.
    • "Koopa Kid" only refers to the character from the first seven entries in the Mario Party series (at least for Americans; for Europeans and Australians, the character is known as "Mini Bowser"), and have no connection to Bowser Jr., the Koopalings or Baby Bowser whatsoever (for added confusion, in the first three Mario Party games, Koopa Kid was named "Baby Bowser").
    • For people who live in Spanish-speaking countries, "Bros" is an abbreviation of "brothers" and not Mario's last name. The title is usually read as "Super Mario Brothers". Saying otherwise will get you laughed at for your poor English. Also, please, don't pronounce or spell "bros" as "bross".
    • Saying with a straight face that Yoshi's full name is T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas, or that Mario's species name is homo nintendonus. The source, a 1993 character guide published only by Nintendo of America, is not meant to be taken seriously and was written by somebody unaffiliated with Nintendo of Japan.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Most famously with the Sonic franchise during the 90s Console Wars, it dissipated once Sega stopped making consoles. Now, since the two franchises have crossed over on many occasions since then, they have become Friendly Fandoms at most now.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: Concept art shown in The Art of Super Mario Odyssey book features a very different concept of what would become New Donk City called Marihatten, which was much more stylized and would have featured more cartoony humans in the style of Mario, Peach and Pauline compared to New Donk City's more realistic setting. Unsurprisingly, those who are against the idea of New Donk City tend to prefer Marihatten's more Mario-esque approach instead, with some wanting to see the idea revisited in a future game.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Since Mario and Bowser play various sports together, the two are a surprisingly popular ship, especially with the idea of turning Bowser into a woman.
  • Fridge Logic:
    • How do the many enemies that walk in a straight line and never change direction until they bump into something (such as the Koopas described under "Fridge Horror" below) get between the two objects they're walking back and forth between in the first place if they can't walk or jump over them? Does Bowser really go to all the trouble of finding countless pairs of immovable objects and putting minions between them before kidnapping Peach? How do the authorities not start to notice this pattern and take precautions to protect Peach whenever Bowser starts dropping minions between immovable objects?
    • The possibility that the Super Mushroom would technically kill Mario if not for its beneficial result. Some brightly colored mushrooms can be poisonous.
    • What happens to the coins you have that you collected when the brick blocks turn into coins when you hit the P Switch? If it turns all coins into bricks and all bricks into coins, what happens to the coins you carry?
    • The idea of Mario & Luigi being born and raised in the Mushroom Kingdom instead of Brooklyn, New York has also had some folks complaining. Namely why do Mario and Luigi have their Italian accents if they were from the Mushroom Kingdom instead of New York? One could easily see Mario and Luigi's accent as The Artifact, despite how it makes their current origin story somewhat confusing, the idea of Mario and Luigi having Italian accents is just too iconic for Nintendo to remove.
  • Fridge Horror: Letting a Koopa bounce around in between blocks or pipes. Koopa Troopas can't get out of their shells if they're still in motion. They don't lose momentum when they hit solid objects. Ergo, they can possibly go on stuck there forever.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With Pokémon, as the two family-friendly series are Nintendo's biggest franchises, hold similar nostalgic value for many fans, and have similarly iconic, cartoonish mascots as their flagship characters. It's not uncommon to hear wishes for a crossover between the two outside of Super Smash Bros..
    • Despite (or perhaps because of) their historic Fandom Rivalry, The Mario fandom and the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom has ironically become one for the same reasons as Pokemon. Two Gateway Series starring very recognizable and cartoony mascots hailing from colorful universes, that while different, share some similarities. Unlike Pokemon however, the two franchises have had actual crossover. A whole spinoff franchise no less. The difference being that there hasn't been a proper Platform Game crossover yet, which many people really look forward to. In the mean time, they just enjoy the Olympic Games, the numerous crossover Fangames, Fanworks and Mods, and Sonic being a beloved guest star in Super Smash Bros. One of the biggest signs of the two franchises' friendly rivalry is the shared positive response to the modern 2D entries Sonic Superstars and Super Mario Bros. Wonder, both of which were announced around the same time and were released within three days of each other. Both games are looking to be a very nice return to form after past controversial 2D game entries (Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and New Super Mario Bros. 2 respectively) with very beautiful and expressive animation and art-styles while also having completely new and unique looking environments and areas and multiple different playable characters (with Amy and Daisy being the biggest surprises).
    • The Mario series also have a friendly relationship with The Legend of Zelda fandom since they're both Nintendo flagship franchises and highly revered by both hardcore fans and casual gamers. They may some times butt heads over who have the 'better games' or who would win in a fight (Mario vs. Link, Peach vs. Zelda, Bowser vs. Ganon), but it's usually in good fun. When both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey proved to be very equally acclaimed Killer Apps for the Switch, there was much shared rejoicing, even if BOTW took home most of the awards while Odyssey became the best-selling game on the system.
    • In general, fans of most Nintendo franchises are bound to be Mario fans to some extent. Almost all Nintendo fans have played a Mario game as one of their first Nintendo games, the series is endearing and well-designed enough to continue appealing to fans beyond that level, and many fans of other Nintendo franchises are introduced to them via Super Smash Bros. (for which the Mario characters are a major draw) or a more in-depth exploration of the company.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The 3D Mario titles are more well-loved in the West than in Japan. In the West, many of them are considered among the greatest games of all time, with Super Mario 64 considered a hallmark of gaming and three 3D Mario titles (Galaxy, Odyssey and Galaxy 2) in the top 5 highest-rated games on GameRankings. In Japan, the 2D Mario titles are generally preferred due to their nostalgia value, with the 3D titles suffering from the Animation Age Ghetto — something that the series' creators weren't too pleased about — in addition to lower sales.
    • Mario is easily THE biggest name of video games in Mexico alongside with SNK's fighting games, and the Xbox consoles. His games are well regarded in the country, and merchandising (both official and unofficial) is very huge, when Mexican store chain Liverpool had their first Bolo Fest Desfile Navideño in 2015 in Mexico City (Which is similar to Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in the United States) Mario became the first of two video game series to get a balloon (similar to how Sonic The Hedgehog got his own balloon by Macy's back in 1993.), and until the Japanese release later overtook it, the Mexican release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie became one of, now the second highest grossing international release for any Illumination film (surpassing their previous releases like Minions) and for any video game film adaptation and became the highest-grossing film of all time'' in Mexico. (Even surpassing the two Sonic movies, two Marvel movies, and two Pixar films in Mexican box office performance.)
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The "small fiery Mario" glitch. If you hit Bowser and the axe at the same time at the end of an x-4 level, you'll start the next level as a large Mario who dies in one hit. Take a mushroom and you become small; take a Fire Flower and you become small and fiery.
    • If you're small and you hit Bowser and the axe at the same time, Mario dies but the level still registers as a win, leaving Toad saying his "Thank You Mario/Luigi!" line to a blank screen.
    • Correct pipes in the World 8-4 Pipe Maze will have the Pirahna Plants inhabiting them suddenly disappear as you approach them. This significantly reduces the potential aggravation of guessing the correct pipe.
    • If you jump on the axe just as the timer reaches zero in any castle level, you'll get a huge bonus of 50,000 points. This is because of a bug in which the timer rolls over to 999 and keeps counting down from there. However, this does not work in the NES version, since it doesn't give you a time bonus for castles. This can only be done in the "Vs." (arcade) and Super Mario All-Stars versions.note 

    H-Z 
  • Hard-to-Adapt Work: One of the staff writers on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! explained that the show's production team found it hard to derive material from the shallow plots and thin characters of the games (which was especially the case in 1989, when the series' presence in the United States amounted to just the first two games— Super Mario Bros. 3 wouldn't be out in the States for another year), which is why most of the episodes are structured around stock movie and historical parodies. Indeed, Nintendo of America themselves had cold feet about the idea of adapting the games into an animated series, and the games being difficult to adapt may have been a factor in that opinion. The franchise was in a primitive state, so that's unsurprising. It wasn't until The Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023 that they finally tried it again, and by that time the franchise had a much richer well of characters and lore to draw from.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Two in Mario Super Sluggers, both relating to the "close play" feature. At third base and home plate, if a fielder receives the ball just as a baserunner approaches, the runner can attack the fielder thereby jarring the ball loose. Since the game was released, Major League Baseball instituted two rule changes, both unpopular with fans. In the 2014 season, MLB brought in the Posey rule which prevents catchers from blocking the plate unless they have the ball. Two seasons later, a rule was added prohibiting takeout slides unless the baserunner makes contact with the bag.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Given that the series is one of the most successful video game franchises on the planet, some people are put off by the series and its main cast (particularly Mario himself) being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad among Nintendo's franchises,note . Some older fans view later games, particularly the New Super Mario Bros. games and Mario Kart Wii, as suffering this.
    • Some overzealous fans of The Legend of Zelda tend to bash the Super Mario franchise simply for being more popular on an absolute scale, more iconic, and more cartoony than their preferred series, especially when they treat Mario vs. Link comparisons and polls as Serious Business. However, this is rare, and the two generally benefit from Friendly Fandoms.
  • I Am Not Shazam
    • Mario's name is not "Super Mario". "Super Mario" is just the name for the form he has after he uses a Super Mushroom in most 2D games (though more modern games has this as his default appearance, with his smaller form being known as Small Mario).
    • Many people in Spanish-speaking countries, especially those with no basic knowledge of English, seem to think that "Bros" is Mario's last name, much to the annoyance of fans. The offenders also pronounce it as "Mario Bross".
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • Toad and Toadette are very close, but Nintendo can't seem to decide what their particular relationship is. The Mario Kart Wii manual identified them as siblings, but Nintendo later confirmed they were not considered as such. This is one possible interpretation when trying to reconcile Flip-Flop of God and Fanon Discontinuity.
    • Due to them being Platonic Life-Partners, or perhaps simply because of a lack of "shippable" male characters, Mario and Luigi have a decent sized shipping.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: Anyone who complains about the series' Excuse Plot nature, with fans explaining how you're not supposed to care about plot in the series. However, some fans will bring up how the Mario RPG games often had storylines a bit more than "Mario saves the Princess from Bowser in Mushroom Kingdom". Others side with Shigeru Miyamoto and his Word of God on how the series is always more about gameplay than anything. That said, if depth of plot doesn't matter to Mario fans, originality does, and games that break or play with the series' convention of "Bowser kidnaps Peach and takes her to his castle, and Mario rescues her in the end" are generally preferred.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Starting near the end of the Turn of the Millennium and heading into The New '10s, many complaints were raised about the Mario series' various games starting to feel homogenized. Super Mario Galaxy 2 became the first direct sequel to a 3D Mario game, and New Super Mario Bros. went from two games to five, with much of its design choices spreading to other games: Paper Mario infamously dropped almost all of its original creations in Sticker Star, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam's locations were mostly based on typical NSMB worlds and saving the princesses was the crux of the plot when every other game in the series usually had it as a minor arc in the story, and even the spinoffs like Mario Tennis (both Open and Ultra Smash) and Mario Golf: World Tour received complaints about how little they tried to branch out. Though later games like Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Tennis Aces alleviated some of these complaints, it was common during this time for people to complain about how "samey" the franchise had become, and talk positively about how older games like Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Strikers were more willing to take risks and try new things, even if they didn't pan out.
  • LGBT Fanbase:
    • Bowser is incredibly popular with the gay/mlm fandom, most notably with furries and fans of the Bara Genre.
    • Luigi has significant popularity with queer fans as well given that he's more In Touch with His Feminine Side compared to Mario, including him willingly wearing a dress in a few appearances and being hinted to wanting to use the Super Crown. This combined with his interactions with Prince Peasley in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has some queer fans happily embracing him as gay and/or transgender, or at least very fluid with his gender and sexuality. Of course, there's also the fans that ship Bowser and Luigi, and this notably increased with the 2023 movie...
  • Memetic Badass: Luigi has become this in later years, especially since the Year of Luigi. To give examples, we have "Luigi wins by doing absolutely nothing", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The video became so popular it has spawned several others making similar videos. Several comments are "You don't screw with Luigi", "Now begins the age of Luigi" etc etc. And how can we ever forget his infamous death stare from Mario Kart 8? Many has jokingly stated that his sudden ghetto attitude in the fandom is his breaking point from being trampled so much due to his Memetic Loser status.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Princess Daisy got this treatment more and more over time as newer and more popular characters such as Rosalina appeared, causing Daisy to get lost in the rush. Rosalina has appeared in Super Smash Bros. and playable in a main game before Daisy, who is eighteen years older than her. Since Luigi and Daisy are usually paired up, at least they can be losers together. Daisy's newfound status as The Un-Favourite loser has actually made her a lot more sympathetic and likeable as a character instead of being a widely despised scrappy among fans. It got worse now when a trampoline was picked as a playable costume for Mario over her in Super Mario Maker, and it wouldn't be until later on that Daisy was added as a costume. Since then, her playable appearance in Super Mario Run helped slightly lessen her status, and then she became a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • Waluigi is infamous for being seldom used outside spin-off games despite being one of the series' most popular characters and having a devoted fanbase that wants Waluigi to get the spotlight he deserves. His absence in Mario Kart 7 doesn't help matters.
  • Memetic Mutation: Quite a bit, actually.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Virtually every character has probably had his or her turn at being portrayed as this. Waluigi is the most prominent example, where many of his fans (thanks to Brawl in the Family) depict him as an embodiment of Mind Screw, and absolutely adore him for it.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The 1-Up chime.
    • The power-up sound.
    • The pipe sound and level ending fanfare, too.
  • My Real Daddy: While nobody will deny that Shigeru Miyamoto was very influential to the series' development, Nintendo of America shaped up the setting of the Mario series of how its known today. Such as the setting of the games such as Mario & Luigi being plumbers from Brooklyn who got to the Mushroom Kingdom via a Warp Pipe in Super Mario Bros.. to character names such as Mario, Pauline, Luigi, the Koopalings and more in fact the idea of the Koopalings being Bowser's children was NOA's idea. However due to certain actions from Shigeru such as him saying that the Koopalings are no longer Bowser's kids and what happened to Paper Mario: Sticker Star have caused plenty of backlash.
  • Narm Charm: The whole series runs by this principle. It's an irreverent and bizarre Constructed World, populated by funny-looking characters with a very quirky sense of humor, but the games are done with such sincerity and charm that when they try to take themselves seriously, it works.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • "Hi, I'm Daisy!" is one of Daisy's quotes in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, which she says whenever you switch drivers or when she wins a race in first place, causing it to potentially become a bit repetitive. In spite of Double Dash being the only game in which she says the line in, pretty much everything regarding Daisy online will inevitably bring up the "Hi, I'm Daisy" quote as if it was her catchphrase or the only thing she ever says. It doesn't help that while a lot of Mario fans don't play the spinoff games all that much, they do play Mario Kart games, and for many Double Dash was their first impression of Daisy.
    • Boy, does Princess Peach get lots of this:
      • Peach's reaction to Bowser Jr. telling her that she's his mommy in Super Mario Sunshine — or, rather, her complete lack of it. She's supposed to be confused by what Jr. said about her being his mama, but the way the line is delivered makes it sound weird to a lot of fans. Many people (especially detractors of the character) cite it as one of the most defining examples of the princess being a complete ditz, and ignore the instances of her being portrayed competently in the series (particularly in the RPGs). Others cite it as evidence of certain fan theories pertaining to Peach's relationship with Bowser.
      • Peach getting kidnapped constantly is this in and out of the games. Outside of the games this has convinced some people that Peach is nothing but a Damsel Scrappy who does nothing but get kidnapped. While game developers do rely too much on her classic Damsel in Distress role, Peach has also Taken Several Levels in Badass throughout the series.
      • There's also her rejecting both Mario and Bowser marriage proposals, leaving them in tears and seemingly hijacking the Odyssey at the end of Super Mario Odyssey. In reality Peach only rejected their marriage proposals because they literally consisted of them shoving flowers into her face. She doesn't steal the Odyssey either, as she can clearly be heard calling out "Let's go home!" to Mario and Bowser. As of the post-game content, it's also shown that even though Mario went a bit too far with his competitive attitude when Bowser sabotaged his proposal, Peach already forgave him for what happened.
    • Mario also gets lots of this:
      • Mario stomps on Luigi's foot in Power Tennis as a mildly OOC act of Sibling Rivalry. People always use this scene as evidence Mario is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and a bad brother to Luigi that doesn't want him to steal his spotlight. Several videos and animations seem to take this way too, with the relationship between the bros portrayed in a negative light, with Mario usually characterized as being a jerk to Luigi and not caring about him. However, outside of few exceptions like Professor E. Gadd, Daisy and Peach, he's the only character that never gets his name wrong. At worst, he does tease him and laugh at his expenses like almost every character does and is competitive with him, but all of this are minor things. Mario genuinely loves his brother and would focus all his energies on saving him if he has to, and Luigi would just as often return the favour when he's the one that needs help. Despite the games show how much Mario cares about him and that in turn, Luigi admires him and is very loyal to him, with more and more proof of that as the years passed, this scene, combined with a certain theory, caused a large Mario hatedom from Luigi fans.
      • For Game Theory fans, Mario will forever be known as a sociopath, animal abuser, Ungrateful Bastard, sexual predator, Big Brother Bully and every other bad adjective in the book because of the "Mario is Mental" theory and its huge Ron the Death Eater supply. It doesn't help that this theory was often milked by Matpat in a few of his other theory videos and how he says "officially" at the end of the "Mario is Mental" theory, which was released in October 2013, almost ten years ago, and this, combined with misconceptions that include his relationship with Luigi, caused a lot of people to hate Mario, especially Luigi fans.
      • Even the feminist, socio-political essay channel The Take got in on it with their "Luigi (Not Mario) Is The Man We Need Right Now" video, where they essentially use the same arguments Matpat made in calling Mario a bad brother. Another Youtuber did make three videos about 10 reasons why Mario is not a hero, using similiar pieces of evidence and more from the spin-offs, but the difference is that those videos didn't really took all of this seriously unlike the afromentioned examples, and years later, he made fun of them in a video where he mentioned 30 reasons why Mario really is a hero with the same reasons as the older videos but in reverse, mentioning positive things instead of negative ones.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Most would be led to believe that Luigi's signature Cowardly Lion personality got its start in the Luigi's Mansion series, or even in the cartoons if they're familiar with them, but what some might not know is that the earliest example of Luigi's cowardice comes from this commercial for Mario Bros. for the Atari 2600 and 5200. In it, Luigi is shown running for his life while being bombarded by Shellcreepers, Sidesteppers, and Fighter Flies, before calling out for Mario and hiding in a pipe while waving a White Flag.
    • Most fans tend to think that Daisy started to become an energetic tomboy princess in the early 2000s as a way to make her more distinctive from Peach. However, contrary to popular belief, Daisy has been characterized as a tomboyish princess from the very beginning, as she was described as an energetic tomboy in both Super Mario Land's Japanese manual and on the game's Japanese website, and several early mangas from the 1990s and (to a lesser extent) the 1993 live-action movie all showcase her hot-headed, competitive and tomboyish sides years before the games did.
  • One True Pairing: Mario and Peach, obviously. Albeit supporters of other couples are far from scarce or undevoted, this one is the gold standard by which all video game relationships are measured. They've been together since the franchise's inception and the games never stop dealing out Ship Teases between them like candy.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Not the games themselves, but the English localisation of Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia, a book that covers the franchise from Super Mario Bros. on the NES to Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U and officially licensed by Nintendo, has become very difficult to recommend buying to fans after it was discovered that one translator on the localisation team plagiarised from the Super Mario Wiki and Mario Fandom when it came to the more obscure character names across the franchise instead of doing research and contacting Nintendo. Both Dark Horse Comics and Nintendo were roundly criticised for proof-reading negligence, and Nintendo's notorious litigation against Fan Games also made them look like Hypocrites. The controversy only applies to the book's English localisation; Super Mario Wiki's Twitter page confirmed that the German and French localisation teams were not guilty of plagiarism; the Spanish localisation wasn't subject to any sort of scandal either.
  • Periphery Demographic: While the franchise was considered primarily for children at the beginning of its life before switching to a broader for all ages approach in the as early as the beginning of the 2000s, it fittingly also has one of Nintendo's biggest fanbases among teenagers and adults, and started being marketed towards all ages long before Pokémon did — Mario was even being marketed to casual non-gamer adults during the Wii era, and the franchise is frequently used for Geek Reference Pools. There's a reason why it's the most famous and popular game series of all time and Mario is widely considered to be a symbol of Video Games as a whole.
  • Pop Culture Holiday: March 10th is Mario Day, since the date can be spelled as "MAR10." Originally, Mario Day celebrated anybody named Mario, but it quickly became associated with the Mario. Nintendo has celebrated March 10th as Mario Day since 2016.
  • Recurring Fanon Character:
    • Bowsette came about as a result of fans speculating what the Big Bad Bowser would look like under the effects of the Super Crown from New Super Mario Bros. U, which in canon turns Toadette, and only her, into a human resembling Princess Peach, granting her the ability to double jump and glide. The trend started in 2018 when an artist on Twitter put out this fancomic based on the ending of Super Mario Odyssey. Ever since, fans of the idea have been pumping out artwork and even cosplays of their own take on the Peachified koopa king with varying degrees of human and koopa traits as well as her hair color varying from blonde (to better resemble Peach) to red (to stay truer to Bowser). Bowsette inspired countless fan works, including Bowsette Saga, and multiple Not-Safe-For-Work works. She became incredibly popular, to the point Nintendo had to offer a "no comment" about it, but made clear the character could never happen.
    • The popularity of Bowsette has led to the creation of other Super Crown versions of Mario characters. The next most popular is Booette, a female, humanoid version of King Boo.
    • Claudia Koopa is Bowser's ex-wife and Bowser Jr's (and sometimes the Koopalings) mother. She originates from false rumors that a British issue of Nintendo Power once mentioned her. In reality, the magazine wasn't even released in the UK.
    • Sponge is a depressed third Mario brother created by Vinny from Vinesauce. The popularity of Vinesauce made him probably the most well known depiction of a third Mario brother.
    • Shy Gal is a female human version of a Shy Guy. She became popular in fanart because of her attractive figure.
    • Grand Dad is a color-swapped version of Mario who originates from 7 GRAND DAD, a Mario-themed bootleg version of The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy. He became well known after the game was streamed by Joel from Vinesauce. He later became best known as the mascot of the YouTube parody music channel SiIvaGunner. Grand Dad has received many memes, fanart, and even fangames.
    • SMG4 is a character from the web series of the same name. He is the creator’s Author Avatar and a blue and white recolor of Mario who has received a lot of fanart and fanworks because of his videos’ popularity, at least prior his redesign in 2022 that erased his conection with the Mario franchise to avoid getting Screwed by the Lawyers, which has caused it to no longer appear, or at least not be used as much as it once was in Mario fanworks.
    • Another popular character from SMG4 is Fishy Boopkins, an Otaku Spike with a wacky personality. He became popular enough that many refer to any Spike as Fishy Boopkins. Though much like SMG4, he stopped frequently appearing in Mario fanworks after his redesign.
    • Scripulous Fingore comes from an Urban Legend of Zelda and was supposedly an unused ghost enemy in New Super Mario Bros. DS that was removed from the game for unknown reasons. The hoax became popular with fans, as Scripulous received many memes, fanart, and edits.
    • Wapeach, a Wario-counterpart to Peach who was originally going to appear in Mario Power Tennis, became extremely popular in late 2023 due to her cute appearance, yet violent personality. Many fans are hoping that she'll be brought back in the future.
  • Remade and Improved: While the original NES platformers are well regarded as being classics, the remakes included in Super Mario All-Stars are regarded by many fans to be superior to the original games, due to having more detailed graphics, a upgraded soundtrack, as well as having better save features (and in Super Mario Bros. 3's case, a save feature at all, given that the original game notoriously lacks one).
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Bowser Jr. While he is also hated for his lackluster design (he is an Expy of Bowser's baby self), he is mostly hated for replacing the Koopalings in Super Mario Sunshine. To a lesser extent, he gets this reaction for replacing the Koopa Kids of the spinoffs as well. When Word of God has stated that the Koopalings are no longer considered Bowser's children and only Bowser Jr. is his true child, the hate toward him intensified.
    • The Koopalings are a bizzare example as they didn't begin as this. When New Super Mario Bros. Wii first came out, the Koopalings' appearances were praised for bringing a set of characters who haven't appeared in a mainline game since Super Mario World back to the series. Then by the time New Super Mario Bros. U came out, people resented them for appearing in every New Super Mario Bros. game since New Super Mario Bros. Wii and replacing the unique bosses of the first game, turning them into this trope. It goes to show that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In an unusual twist of fate, Bowser Jr. was passed over for Mario Kart 8, just as the Koopalings make their first ever playable appearance in the very same game. Instead of rejoicing, fans deemed the Koopalings the Replacement Scrappies for this reason; even within the fans who still hate Bowser Jr., there are some who criticize the overexposure of the Koopalings for taking away other Mario Kart characters (since they occupy seven slots), as well as for having already appeared too much in the New Super Mario Bros. games. The inclusion of Bowser Jr. as a playable character in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (among King Boo and Dry Bones), has made some people leave their hatred for the Koopalings behind though.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has Lubba become this for Rosalina.
    • The Honey Queen Bee and Metal Mario in Mario Kart 7 are all this to Waluigi, who wasn't playable.
    • Some fans feel like Rosalina is becoming this to Daisy due to Rosalina appearing in so many mainline games despite Daisy having being around far longer than she has. The final nail in the coffin for these fans was when the the base roster for Mario Strikers: Battle League was revealed and Rosalina, who makes her debut in that series with that game, was part of it but not Daisy, who was present for the two previous games.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Bowser Jr. became this in New Super Mario Bros. Wii after he was announced to appear alongside all Koopalings in the game. His announcement for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, once again accompanied by the Koopalings, was welcomed as well.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Luigi's ended up playing the villain (usually after deciding he's tired of playing second banana to Mario) in a number of fanworks, Super Mario World ROM hacks in particular.
    • Or alternatively Mario, whether it's out of him being tired of the status quo or straight up villainization, receives this a lot.
    • Happens to Bowser and Bowser Jr. as well. This is especially apparent in Koopaling-centric fanfiction that turn the former into an abusive father who neglects/punishes the Koopalings whilst playing favorites with Junior (though this isn't to say other stories don't "Death Eater" him, such as making him a rapist), while Junior himself is portrayed as a bullying, manipulative jerkass who's only heir instead of Ludwig because Bowser made him so.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Bowser is so damned likable and fun that many players find themselves wanting him to win out over the Mario Bros. for once. Look at the top of the page and see how much Fanon and interpretations are about Bowser being the good guy. This is even more prominent during his Jerkass Woobie moments. Bowser's Inside Story seems to be a shout-out for such players, since it puts Bowser in the limelight.
  • Sacred Cow:
  • Self-Fanservice:
    • Mario is short and pudgy, with a big nose and a bushy mustache, but some fanworks feature a far more conventionally attractive Mario. At best he'll still be recognizably himself, big nose, mustache and all, but drawn in a way that downplays his goofiness, and makes his proportions more in line with the princesses. At worse, he'll be the most generic looking bishonen in existence that maybe has a bit of peach fuzz on his upper lip. Luigi, of course, gets hit with it as well.
    • Oddly enough, the inverse is also often seen, and for every fanwork that portrays Mario as a pretty boy, there's one that portrays him as an obese, middle-aged Gonk, ostensibly in the pursuit of realism. Of course, a part of this likely stems from the common misconception that Mario's far older than he actually is. Other times, not so much, describing him as way fatter and/or uglier than he usually is.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: It is possible to get through the original Super Mario Bros. in a Pacifist Run, without directly hurting any enemy.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Super Mario Bros. 3, compared to The Lost Levels, at least. It's still harder than the original Super Mario Bros. though.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, compared to the original Super Mario Bros. And Super Mario Galaxy 2, compared to the first Super Mario Galaxy. New Super Luigi U is a fair bit harder than New Super Mario Bros. U.
  • Ship Mates: Mario/Peach and Luigi/Daisy.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Despite them barely having any interactions in the main series, there are a surprising amount of Bowser/Rosalina shippers, due to the fact that not only do they both gain mutual benefits out of it, with Bowser getting his hands on a ruler while Rosalina gets someone to care for the Lumas alongside her, but it also comes with the stipulation of Peach no longer getting kidnapped.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: As expected from a popular series, there is a lot of this. Mario/Peach vs Bowser/Peach is by far the most common however Mario/Pauline vs Mario/Peach and Rosalina/Luigi vs Daisy/Luigi are also debated.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Female characters usually prove to be very popular.
    • Princess Peach is probably the most famous female character in all of video gaming. She proved to be popular enough to get quickly Promoted to Playable in the American Super Mario Bros. 2 and later on receive her own spin-off game: Super Princess Peach. The game was well received, though criticized for using the Hysterical Woman trope as the main gameplay mechanic. In any cases, she never missed a single spin-off multiplayer gamenote  and proved to be quite the Action Girl in some of them, (especially in the Mario Strikers series).
    • Toadette seems to be heading this way as off late. Initially, she only appeared in spin-off games and there was even a six year period where she didn't appear in any games at all. She got her first playable single-player game in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and later got appearances in main Mario titles like Mario Odyssey and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. She also stands out due to her feminine appearance, which is more than can be said about Toads in general.
    • Rosalina was such a popular character that she was quickly added to the playable roster of the next Super Smash Bros. game after her debut, long before many of the series‘ older characters such as Toad, Daisy, and Waluigi got the chance. She also became a playable character in the mainline series game Super Mario 3D World a few years after her debut, the same game which had only the second playable appearance of even Princess Peach in a mainline Mario game, despite Peach being around for about thirty years longer than her, and several older characters such as Waluigi still never being playable in the main series up to that point. She also became a popular mainstay in most of the Spin-Off Mario games at the same time.
    • Pauline became extremely popular after her reappearance in Super Mario Odyssey, to the point that she practically became the face of the game despite only appearing in one world out of many, and just like Rosalina, now frequently appears in Spin-Off games as well.
  • Sophomore Slump: This occurred within the 3D platformer series. While not hated, the second entry Sunshine is seen as easily being the weakest of the bunch. It really isn't due to Sunshine being all that bad, rather that 64, Galaxy, and Odyssey are all so beloved within the gaming community. The other 3D games are also seen as being far above average for the genre, which unfortunately leaves Sunshine as being the clear worst entry due to its wonky controls, not quite as amazing level design, and awkward aspects of its story and voice acting.
  • Super Couple: Again, Mario and Peach. Their relationship is practically synonymous with video game romance, to the point that even non-fans know about them.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The original Super Mario Bros. compared to Mario Bros..
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Although Waluigi and Daisy have mixed reception, there are a plenty of fans that feel they are interesting characters in their own right and feel that Nintendo should let them appear in future main games (Daisy debuted in Super Mario Land, but Waluigi only appeared in spinoffs). The fact that Rosalina was playable in Super Mario 3D World made many of these fans more vocal about this. Daisy's inclusion as a playable character in Super Mario Run helped lessen this for her a lot, while Waluigi only featured as a Costume Mario power-up in Super Mario Maker and an outfit based on him in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Mario Odyssey.
    • Pauline has also been considered to be a case of this over the years as unlike Mario and Donkey Kong she never got her own game series. Not only do certain fans wish she appeared more often in the game titles, but some even ship her with Mario (in which they often point out Nintendo never did confirm whether if Mario and Peach are an Official Couple or not). Her appearance in Super Mario Odyssey, not only to made her return to the Mario franchise, but earned a new role as a mayor rather than a damsel-in-distress.
    • Kamella, the Magikoopa boss from Super Mario Galaxy , seemed like a mainline substitute for Kammy Koopa from the Paper Mario series. After the entire Mario franchise was hit with mandatesnote  which hit Paper Mario the hardest, Kamella seemed like a perfect character to take over for Kammy in the Paper Mario series in the interim. Instead, Kamek took the role, and was also written in an out-of-character way in his first two Paper Mario games that, though some fans liked, required him to not notice Bowser acting strange- roles that would have made much more sense for Kamella, who doesn't have as much known history with Bowser. While most mainliner friendly species and characters have also been hit with this strange non-inclusion from modern Paper Mario, Kamella is especially noticeable in that regard.
  • Ugly Cute: Goombas. Yeah, they want to kill Mario and look menacing with their angry eyes and fangs, but they're so helpless and weak that fans find them adorable and even sympathetic.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Toad giving you the finger in the original Super Mario Bros.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley: Because Nintendo loves recycling old renders of Mario characters, especially from the Gamecube onwards, seeing such renders from that era mixed in with those from the DS/Wii, 3DS/Wii U, and Switch, can produce a very jarring effect, as it can lead to a mishmash of outdated and newer renders (Especially since the Gamecube renders have desaturated lighting and flat textures). Granted, during each era, Nintendo would usually update old renders or make new ones with brighter colors, smoother shading, more realistic textures, and better lighting. Mario Sports Superstars is the worst offender when it comes to this, as aside from recycling a bunch of old renders, one of the amiibo cards released for this game garnered infamy for using a render of Bowser from Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix with a generic render of Luigi running that was first used in Mario Tennis Open in the background, which resulted in both artstyles clashing too much.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • In-Universe, Luigi isn't as popular or as well received as Mario is, leading to a bit of a "second banana" complex. However, he's really popular among the fanbase.
    • Waluigi isn't really well-liked In-Universe either, but a sizeable portion of the fanbase genuinely likes him. Mostly through Memetic Mutation.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Mario was designed to be an extremely accessible character who can fit any role. He himself has a pretty basic personality aside from his cheerfulness, but it's the colorful world he inhabits and the challenges he faces that provides the true meat of the series.
  • Viewer Pronunciation Confusion:
    • Bowser's name is sometimes mispronounced as "bohzer", but the actual pronunciation is "bao-ser".
    • Wario's name is officially pronounced "wah-ree-oh" across languages, rhyming with "Mario," owing to it being a portmanteau of Mario's name and the Japanese word "warui" (meaning "bad"). Despite this, many people often read it as "warr-ee-oh" (similarly to "warrior"), or "warry-ee-oh" ("warry" rhyming with "marry").
    • The Bob-omb enemy also trips up many people, as Super Mario Bros. (1993) indicates it is pronounced "buh-BOMB", not "BOB-omb", as the spelling suggests.
  • The Woobie:
  • Woolseyism: The first Mario RPG was translated by Ted Woolsey himself. Since then, the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series have done their localizations in a style not unlike Woolsey.

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